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former Rocket Emlen Tunnell #1 on list of top NFL safeties
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mbgthroughandthrough Offline
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former Rocket Emlen Tunnell #1 on list of top NFL safeties
07-05-2017 02:47 PM
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DetroitRocket Offline
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RE: former Rocket Emlen Tunnell #1 on list of top NFL safeties
(07-05-2017 02:47 PM)mbgthroughandthrough Wrote:  http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap300000...95579479=1

Tunnell first played for the University of Toledo where he suffered a neck injury that was so severe the US Army and US Navy both rejected his attempts to enlist during World War II. He was eventually accepted by the US Coast Guard, and spent two years of service there before returning to play football for the University of Iowa [2] He started at quarterback, halfback and on defense during his two years as a Hawkeye. He led the team in passing in the 1946 season and receiving during the 1947 season. He quit the team before the 1948 season in order to join the New York Giants.
07-05-2017 04:20 PM
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Toledo Football 1st Offline
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RE: former Rocket Emlen Tunnell #1 on list of top NFL safeties
Cool. Another Pennsylvania Rocket! I am very familiar with Emlen Tunnell. The Giants' "Offense on defense."

I read somewhere that after recovering from the neck injury he wanted to play football again, but was not permitted to. Instead he moved over to basketball. There is a pretty good biography here: BIO.

An excerpt:

Known as Em, Tunnell was born on March 29, 1925, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, and grew up in nearby Garrett Hill. One of four children of Elzie Tunnell and Catherine Adams, he was raised along with his three siblings by his mother, a household worker. Tunnell was an all-sports standout at Radnor Township High School, and for quite a while it was unclear whether his primary game would be football, baseball, or basketball. He won an athletic scholarship to the University of Toledo in Ohio and took the field as a tailback in the fall of his freshman year.

Given Last Rites
The 17-year-old Tunnell's promising football career almost ended that fall when his neck was broken during a game. He woke up to find a Catholic priest in his room, administering the Last Rites even though he was not of the Catholic faith. Tunnell had to wear a neck brace on and off for a year, and he was told he would never play football again. By winter, however, he was playing basketball for Toledo and leading the team to the National Invitational Tournament finals. After the outbreak of World War II he attempted to enlist in the U.S. Army and Navy, but both turned him down because of his neck injury. He succeeded in joining the Coast Guard and saw action in the Pacific. Tunnell had a second brush with death when his ship, the U.S.S. Etamin, was hit by a Japanese torpedo off New Guinea.
07-05-2017 09:42 PM
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